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Cataclaw 1v1 Dire Avenger Opener

By -Netput - 9th May 2017 - 13:39 PM

We are really happy to bring you some Eldar content this time around. Tons of people are playing Dawn of War 3 and the Eldar are considered the strongest faction in the current meta game. But how do you play the Eldar faction effectively? Community member Cataclaw is considered one of the top players and he was so kind to share his Eldar Dire Avenger opening with you!

Cataclaw's 1v1 Opener

My very first guide, written 2017-05-06 by popular demand from my stream.


Dire Avengers are the Aeldari's backbone infantry in the early stages of the game. In almost every 1v1 featuring the Eldar you will see the Dire Avenger squads running around the battlefield at a quicker pace than most any other units thanks to the Fleet of Foot passive, throwing grenades at their enemies. There is a good reason behind this. The Dire Avengers are exceptional at bleeding your opponent when he is overextending in a fight with their Tier 1 combat units. You also start out with Plasma Grenades, which with the bulletin also does quite a substantial amount of damage. This allows you to quickly reduce your opponents model count, and thus reducing the opponents DPS. This guide functions as a opener guide, as in the mid-game to late-game is reactionary to your opponent. There will be a short amount of information about this in the end of the guide. If you have trouble following the guide, there is a video below that shows the initial stage of the opening of the game. Enjoy.


Before we start searching for a game, you need to make sure you have the appropriate load out. Throughout testing different load outs, i have found this one to be the most consistent against all races. Holo-Field may be exchanged for Improved Banshee Scream, and its adaptive to your play style in the mid-game.

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Striking Scorpions
The very best Elite you can get for 2 Elite points in the game. These Elite melee specialists have a passive that makes them exceptionally good! Every sixth attack they deal critical damage. If that was not enough the damage is also converted into True Damage. These guys eat buildings for lunch!

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Who does not love the Farseer with her sassy attitude? With her Q-W-Q combo being able to wipe enemy tier 1 squads and, in my opinion, the best Crowd Control ability in the game (Stasis). Although quite low on health, together with Last Chance and knocking back units with her Q ability, she is tough to get rid off.

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Having this big guy in our army is vital to the strategy! He allows us to utilize the Improved Webway Gate, which really defines the current meta-game in the higher levels of the DoW3 ladder.

Army Bulletins

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Improved Plasma Grenades
Reduces the cooldown of our Dire Avengers plasma grenades and increases the damage output. Adds some sweet burst damage for dropping models quickly.

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Dire Avenger Holo-Field
Allows us to Stealth our Dire Avengers, as if the movement speed was not enough! Adds preservation when fleeing from a fight but also a ganking aspect to this unit, being able to properly initiate a fight with some well put Plasma Grenades!

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Dire Avenger Shield
Dire Avengers get better shields. Coupled together with an early Shield upgrade from the Soul Shrine, the upgrade creates a even better investment of return for the Dire Avengers, which truly is our backbone infantry unit.

Elite Bulletins

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Wraithlord: Improved Webways allows us to teleport the Webway Gate and use it as a part of our army as soon as we finish building it. The webway gate gives us Fleet of Foot, which gives us an immense movement speed bonus which can be both used defensively and in the offense. The bulletin if equipped as an Elite doctrine, reduces the teleportation cooldown to 10 seconds, and the cast time for teleporting the webway gate to 2 seconds. It creates a whole different playstyle for the Eldar player, always being able to be in the Fleet of Foot buff!

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Macha: Last Chance
Makes our Elites invulnerable for a short time, and heals them up when they reach 0 health. Really nice Elite bulletin which gives you a second chance of either getting away or getting that nuke off and winning the fight. Makes our squishy elites more tanky.

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Striking Scorpions: Hunter
The bulletin that has the least importance in this opening strategy, but is still nifty if you decide to go a bit more heavy with Banshee's in your army composition

Build Order


Start off by sending your [1]Bonesinger that you start with to your opponents Requisition natural expansion by utilizing the teleportation to jump on top of it, and put it there to delay him from capturing it. This technique is something that i call 'cockblocking' but in a more formal way of expressing it, resource denial.

The second [2]Bonesinger is sent to do the same thing, on the opposite natural expansion of your opponent.

The third [3]Bonesinger is sent to teleport on top of your natural requisition expansion, and then start to build a Webway Gate as it is capturing the point.
Build a requisition generator as soon as the point is captured, and make sure you Hotkey the webway gate, as it is going to be teleporting around to support your Army throughout the whole game.

While the Webway Gate is being built, you can queue up the third Dire Avenger squad. Once the Webway gate is finished, be aggressive and take any fights you can and teleport the Webway Gate to your army and make sure you retreat as soon as soon as one of your Dire Avengers shields are down, don't fret! You most likely forced your opponent to reinforce his units while you lost no models, causing him to bleed requisition. Keep on attacking as often as you can, while keeping your shields up.

Once you have the Striking Scorpions on the field, and you manage to win a fight by utilizing speed and plasma grenades, capitalize on the victory and preferably kill a shield generator, since the Striking Scorpions excels at killing buildings. If the Shield Generator is down, go for the next best thing: your opponents economy!

Production Order

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After the production order; Play reactionary to your opponent and get an army composition to deal with your opponent.

Howling Banshee or Dark Reaper?

Dark Reaper is great at dealing hard hitting ranged DPS, and for me is my usual option.
Howling Banshee is great for crowd controlling the opponents ranged units. However we already have a 50 requisition unit for this, namely the Bonesinger which can teleport instantly on top of that annoying Deffgun Loota and crowd control it.
I tend to get only 1 Howling Banshee at most, since i find preserving these units can be hard. The Dark Reapers deal True Damage which is also very nice against buildings and early Trukks from your Ork opponent. Howling Banshees may have a high DPS on paper, but usually get diminished by the unit running away from them.

Here is a video of the opener vs. AI

Guide written by Cataclaw, Edit by -Netput

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